What is Fever?
Nowadays, fever is a common disease among every ages of people. Though we call it disease, it is not actually. In fact, it is nothing but a higher body temperature than the general one. Usually the upper limit for normal body temperature plays between 99.5º F and 100.9º F. The normal body temperature generally gets around 98.6º F. Fevers do not typically rise higher than 105.8º F to 107.6º F. The increasing of body temperature in a set of a point triggers increased muscle contraction and causes a feeling of cold. This results in greater heat production and efforts to conserve heat. when the set point temperature returns to normal, a person feels hot , becomes flushed, and may begin to sweat. It reclaims as the sign of the fighting inside of our body against the viruses or bacteria causing illness or infection of our bodies.
Most often, infection causes fever. A fever can be caused by many medical conditions ranging from non serious to life threatening.
Characteristics And Symptoms
A fever is usually accompanied by sickness behavior, which consists of lethargy, depression, anorexia, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, and the inability to concentrate. Depending on causes, some additional symptoms may added :
- Chills and shivering
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- General weakness
Fever may caused for some reasons like :
- A virus attack
- A bacterial infection
- Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis- inflammation of the lining of your joints.
- A malignant tumor.
- Some medications, such as antibiotics and drugs used to treat high blood pressure or seizures.
- Some immunizations, such as the diphtheria, tetanus etc.
- Sometimes the causes can be undefined. In this case , someone need to consult with his/her doctor to find the origin and take proper steps for cure.
Types of Fever
There are various types of fever including:
- Continues fever : If the body temperature which is above normal temperature, may not differ more than 1º C in 24 hours, it would be called continues fever. Lobar pneumonia, typhoid, meningitis, urinary tract infection or typhus etc. may cause this type of fever.
- Intermittent fever : In this type of fever, body temperature may remain high for a certain period of time. The other times, body temperature remains normal. On the basis of periodicity it may differs in 24 or 48 or 72 hours. For example : Malaria, kala-azar, pyaemia etc.
- Remittent fever : In this type, temperature stays above from the normal one about more than 24 hours and it may differ more than 1º C. For example : Infective endocarditis, brucellosis.
- Pel-Ebstein fever : This type of fever are associated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The temperature may high for one week and low for the next week and so on. The pattern of this type of fever is controversial.
- Neutropenic fever : It is also called febrile neutropenia which is caused because of the absence of normal immune system function. It occurs when the infection-fighting neutrophils are less than the demand to prevent any bacterial infection. This is commonly seen in those people who get immune-suppressing chemotherapy. It’s a medical emergency.
- Febricula : This is an old term of low grade fever which most often causes for unknown reasons and the patients may need 1 week for full recovery.
- Hyperpyrexia : It is a serious type of fever, where the body temperature may greater or equal to the 104 ºF or 106 ºF .This is a very emergency case, and the victim may attack by brain damage or death without proper treatment. The common cause of hyperpyrexia is an intracranial hemorrhage. It may also happen because of sepsis, kawasaki syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, drug overdose, serotonin syndrome and thyroid storm. One need to get immediate aggressive cooling to less the temperature to 102 ºF may improve his survival.
- Hyperthermia : It’s another emergency case where someone’s body temperature is elevated beyond normal temperature, about 104 ºF because of failed thermoregulation. The main cause of hyperthermia is heat stroke and having excessive drug. The other causes are neuroleptic malignant syndrome, malignant hyperthermia, serotonin syndrome. Active cooling method like sponging the head, neck and trunk with cool water can be emergency aid to give an instant comfort to the victim.
Losses : A victim do suffer very much for fever. It is an ancient disease. Though it’s not a disease rather it is a symptom of other diseases. Excessive headache, weakness and death may occur by fever. Recently, Kerala govt. said that, 420 people died and over 22 lakh people were various kinds of fever of that state since January. In Dhaka, according to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), between 2000 – 2018 (till Oct 09) total number of affected people is 47005 and among them, 287 people died. According to WHO, Malaria is endemic in 91 countries, which about 40% of the world’s population is at risk. Even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available, in 2017, there were 110000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under the age of five.
- For the first step, the victim should stay in a well ventilated space so that, he may not affected by heat or other environmental problems. He should be sponged with cool water on his head, neck and hands and legs. It may give him a primary relief. Medicine should be given as soon as possible.
- Acetaminophen can be used for a lower fever. Ibuprofen can also be used to break a fever in patients over 6 months of age. Naparoxen is another nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drug which may reduce fever temporary. Children should not use Aspirin. It is only used for viral fever like : Chickenpox, Influenza or Flu. One needs to consult with doctor before having any drug. He also needs to consult with expert in any special cases.
- Proper foods and sound sleep is a very necessary for a patient. It helps him to recover soon. Without proper foods and rest, a patient’s body may not sustain with the antibiotic doze.
As fever is an ancient enemy of human race, we need to be conscious about it. We should be careful on environmental stresses that we might not affected by fever. We also need to take proper steps to recover is we affected by fever. We need to follow the instructions of experts and take the medicine timely and also keep the environment friendly to our health.